Southern California is a prime location for some spectacular wildlife experiences. One of those is whale watching in San Diego. Believe it or not, you can actually go whale watching in San Diego year round. Read on to find out how to plan your whale watching adventure…
Whale Watching in San Diego
San Diego Whale Watch is a trusted tour company that specializes in showing marine life to excited visitors. The experienced crew know how to track down the amazing whales and dolphins off of San Diego’s beautiful coast.
This affordable whale watching cruise company takes you out on its boat, the Privateer. She is the only boat in San Diego used solely for whale watching. San Diego Whale Watch is also the only company in San Diego that offers whale watching all year long.
Still, what happens if the main stars don’t show up? No worries! If you don’t see a whale or a dolphin on your trip, you can join for free on another tour. (Note: for safety reasons, children under 2 are not permitted.)
To see what’s swimming the waters now, you can view a regularly updated photo list of recent sightings.
Winter & Spring Gray Whale Watching
From mid-December through April, gray whales are migrating. More than 20,000 gray whales make a 10,000 mile round-trip journey from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California, where the females give birth to their calves.
They typically spend several months in the warm Baja waters, allowing their young enough time to grow strong for making the journey home in the spring. Consequently, winter and spring are a fantastic time for gray whale watching in San Diego.
Fun fact: It is the longest known distance any mammal migrates on an annual basis and is truly an extraordinary spectacle to observe. San Diego features 70 miles of coastline directly in the migration path.
According to San Diego’s Birch Aquarium, gray whales generally travel alone or in pods of two or three but more may be seen traveling together during peak migration season. These giants are roughly the width of a basketball court, so they’re easy to spot!
Summer & Fall Blue Whale Watching
From mid-June through September, blue whales can be sighted off San Diego. These incredible creatures are the largest on Earth–and they’re among the most endangered of the great whales.
Incredibly, the largest group of blue whales in the world (up to 3,000!) feed off the California coast during the summer months. Although blue whales may seem elusive, they give away their positions by spouting enormous columns of water for up to 30 feet in the air. Blue whales have also been observed acting more like dolphins than whales, rolling over on their to look up at spectators.
Whale Watching in San Diego by Land
While booking a whale watching tour is well worth the investment, you can still sight the fantastic creatures from places on shore. A couple of great spots include the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the Cabrillo National Monument and Torrey Pines State Reserve, where the hiking trails offer expansive views of the Pacific.
Whichever time you choose to go whale watching in San Diego, 710 Beach Rentals can help you find the right property in the best location for your needs. Don’t forget to check out our free area vacation guide!